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MASSASAGOES

The MASSASAGOES were native American Indians living in a village near the mouth of Conneaut Creek in the late 18th century. The surveying party led by MOSES CLEAVELAND encountered the Massasagoes in July 1796, and the tribe's chief, Paqua, summoned Cleaveland to a meeting regarding the white men's claim to the surrounding land. According to his journal, Cleaveland "assured them that they should not be disturbed in their possessions, [for] we would treat them and their friends as our brothers." Paqua presented the surveyor with a "curious" pipe of peace and friendship, and Cleaveland gave the natives "a chain of wampum, silver trinkets, and other presents, and whiskey, to the amount of about twenty-five dollars." Cleaveland reports that the Massagoes described themselves as poor and begged for more gifts, especially whiskey, but that a strong moral speech from him put an end to their begging. Although Cleaveland portrays the Massagoes as beggars living "in indolence," P. D. Cherry's The Western Reserve and Early Ohio (1921) reports that the tribe's village, consisting of "some thirty well built cabins," was laid out regularly and systematically, presenting "an appearance of neatness and comfort unusual in the habitations of the red man."